We know that social media and new mobile web devices are changing the face of communications. We know that we have to be proactively engaged in these rapidly growing mediums. Technology is here to stay.
But we don’t want to clog the airwaves. So what are the limits? How do we know whether “To Tweet or not to Tweet?” How can we make sure we are talking with our audiences, and not just at them?
I think it helps to look at the web of digital communication as a big conversation. As Truman Capote eloquently put it, “a conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue.” There are always at least two participants. So, when we are using social media and other web-accessible technologies, we should ask ourselves if we are engaging our audience.
We call unwanted or unsolicited email “spam” for a reason. Spam doesn’t just get deleted, it also annoys us. There is such a thing as Twitter and Facebook spam, as well. It isn’t helpful to Tweet every five minutes, giving the “Twittersphere” a play-by-play account of your day. And Tweeting a press release or company update is great, but don’t take advantage of the space to engage in marketing or product placement. For social media users, that can be very alienating – if they could “delete” that Tweet, they would.
So how can you create “buzz” around your company or brand using social media? Engage the audience. Create a poll or survey they can fill out. Ask them what they would like to see from your company’s products or services. Provide them with helpful tips or other information. And treat them as equals!
Metrics are useful to a point, but it can be hard to measure how appropriate you are being. So next time you are getting ready to Tweet, ask yourself: is this a conversation? Or am I just talking to myself?